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Harvest 52, Mexico

"Mexican blueberry exports are different than its competition's"

"Although the bulk of our volume goes to the United States, we are increasing our export volumes to Europe. In addition to blackberries, we are trying to increase the export of strawberries and blueberries. We have a window to export our strawberries, because we have production in winter. The export of blueberries faces competition from, say, Peru, Argentina and Chile, although these countries export in large quantities to different markets," stated Kristhine Hoflack of the Mexican company Harvest 52. 

"Most of the export volume is sent to the United States because it is close and demand is much higher than in Europe," she added. "We have been working on our shipments of blackberries to Europe, as this is our main product, but also of strawberries and blueberries. We deduct sales to Europe of our total volumes, resulting in the volumes available to the United States. This means that if sales to Europe grow, the volumes for the American market will shrink. Having enough production to provide both markets would be ideal."

The company's blackberry season starts on August 15 and, depending on the time it takes, the season ends in early June. "We export our fruits throughout Europe, for example to Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, among other places. At the moment, we have doubled our export volumes every season. We've been able to do this because of an increase in production and because there's also been an increase in demand. Next season we expect to continue this trend in blackberries, but also add new products to our European export, such as strawberries and blueberries," she said.

Hoflack also said that they had exported some strawberries and blueberries, but that they preferred to increase volumes. "We are in contact with several customers in Europe to start the season with them importing product." The blueberry season begins in October and ends in mid-June, and Hoflack believes they should be competitive against other producing countries, such as Peru, Argentina, and Chile. "We are adjusting our prices according to demand, but we have different markets. They send larger volumes and often by sea, and with different qualities. No matter what we send to Europe, we collect the best quality fruits to make sure that the clients receive the best fruits."

Mexico's strawberry production is good, and only 10% of the production is destined to the national market. The rest of the production is sent to the United States and a small part to Europe, as it is a very competitive market and is also supplied by the Egyptian production.

"We expect to have about 500,000 boxes nest season," Hoflack said. "In addition, we hope we'll have the best quality." Each year they invest more resources in improving the processes, the conditions of the orchards and the conditions in which the fruit is received. Which is why they expect to have more volumes and better quality next year. "In addition, our production may increase if the investments we have made pay off." 

Strawberry production begins in late September or early October and ends in March. "The season might last longer, but it will always depend on prices," said Hoflack. "If we have a good price we can continue producing fruit until April." The problem is that when the US strawberry comes into the market prices drop and producers prefer to sell their strawberries to the freezers, instead of selling them fresh. 

For more information:
Kristhine Hoflack
Harvest 52
T: +52 33 1655 8199

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